Yes, It's Still A Courtesy To Pay Cash At The Farmers Market

A farmer's market on a sunny morning is every foodie or cook's happy place. Rows and rows of colorful, farm-grown produce, purveyors who know exactly the size of eggplant you buy, and stands hawking amazing artisanal bread welcome you week after week. They are amongst the best places to get truly local and seasonal ingredients and the vendors who sell goods there are, for the most part, small businesses. So, when you spend money there, you're supporting people in your community and getting great products in return. But, it turns out, the way you spend your money at farmer's markets matters.

As much as it seems like the country is going cashless, cold hard bills and coins are the favored form of payment in these markets. When you pay with any method other than cash at these establishments, the purveyors pay a portion of their funds to the credit card companies as payment for convenience. In a nutshell, the farmers don't keep 100% of their profits — profits they use to offer their customers more of their goods. 

Sure, you may see more and more card readers on your Saturday morning strolls through the market but just because you can quickly pay for your organic apples with your AmEx doesn't mean the vendors prefer it.

Vendors prefer cash payments

You might wonder why purveyors would even accept any other form of payment other than cash if it's not in their best interest. Well, some of them don't but more have moved to offer card payment methods because they are aware not everyone has cash and it's better to get a sale than nothing at all. And like any other business-savvy person, they stay up to date on how people spend and adjust to current trends. 

While using cash is a courtesy to the farmers there is another reason to keep cash handy at the farmer's market: Technology sometimes goes wonky. Signals are lost or disturbed with no notice whatsoever and, suddenly, you could be trying to pay for your 10 pounds of heirloom tomatoes only to have a credit card reader fail. Goodbye, tomato sandwiches. Having some cash in your back pocket will ensure that you can go home with all your goodies without worry. 

Make it easy on yourself and your favorite vendors by stopping by the ATM after you pick up your cold brew but before you arrive at the market.